In addition to being Ryan Daniel Moran’s best friend, former roommate, and mentor, Mark Jenney is a highly successful businessman who made a pivot away from businesses that had the sole purpose of just making money. In this episode of Freedom Fast Lane, Ryan discusses transitioning from the ‘how many dollars can I extract from this business’ mentality to ‘how much value can I create?’ If you have been chasing dollars but forgetting about value, then this is essential listening!
Mark was a high school dropout from North Eastern Ohio whose father was homeless, which led to his family living in a garage. However, by the time Mark was twenty-one he was a millionaire, and now wants you to know that it doesn’t matter where you are in life, where you live, or how much money you have because you can go out and build a better life for yourself and family.
Be Your Own Customer
As long as you are building a product or service for somebody else, you will always be guessing because you never know what others actually need. What you should to do is build a product or service for yourself.
Many people are familiar with split testing and trying to optimize, but Mark wonders why we are doing that. The main reason is because we aren’t our own customer. When you are starting out, you look at it through the lens of ‘what do I want?’ However, if you are building something, you want your natural skills to be ready and they will help you more than any other skillset you can learn.
Mark’s business is the AirBnB for RVs, and started out of a personal need for the service for himself and his wife. RV Share is a peer-to-peer rental platform that helps facilitate RV rentals between private owners and renters. This concept didn’t exist before Mark went into the industry. In fact, RV Share lost money for quite some time before getting exposure and customers. Mark was okay putting money in knowing this was a long term business that was going to make a big impact in the world and not be something that was going to cash flow from day one.
There are 10 million RVs in the United States, which to Mark meant that there are 10 million potential business owners whose RVs are sitting there doing nothing for 90% of the year. Essentially his mission is to build entrepreneurs and the tools to allow people who traditionally don’t have a lot of excess income. The biggest differentiator between everything Mark had done prior and RV Share was that previously it was all about generating a profit and this time he had a long term vision and a mission of making a difference and changing lives.
This is a people business and not just a numbers business, so the more value you produce the more it will flow to you. In an age of hiding behind computers and working from home, it’s easy to forget that. The people who change the world are still rewarded in today’s economy.
Look at everything you are doing in your life right now and rate each thing on a scale of 1-10 in your personal and business life. If you rate anything less than a 9, then you need to stop doing it.
The other thing is to assess the things you do every day and know that the small things make the biggest difference. Instead of watching TV before going to bed Mark decided to read, and in the past two months has read forty books as a result of that one small change. His advice is to ask yourself what is one small tweak you can make in your life right now, that if you continually do day after day, in two years you will be a completely different person. All these things have a direct ROI to your life.
Mark also suggests implementing a 15-minute stand up meeting every day with your team. This idea is a combination of The One Thing and The SCRUM Principal. The stand up is where everyone in the business announces his or her one task or focus item that is the most important thing to do for that day and by the next day the task needs to be done. Mark says the biggest thing that these stand up meetings have done is increase accountability, as most people are more accountable to others than they are themselves.
A lot of times people’s to do lists are far too long and people get overwhelmed and don’t prioritize correctly, so by doing this you will see exponential growth. The following day at the next 15-minute stand up meeting each person needs to announce whether or not they got their task completed. This is an amazing universal productivity hack as nobody want’s to be the one in the team to show up three days in a row saying they didn’t get their one thing done.
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Links to Resources Mentioned
The Slight Edge (book)
The One Thing (book)
The Star Principal (book)
The Power of Habit (book)
Building Your Success Network (previous podcast)